Covert Chicks - Worrying about the future with HOA? (East Mesa, AZ)

Discussion in 'Where am I? Where are you!' started by ChicksOfHazzard, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. ChicksOfHazzard

    ChicksOfHazzard Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 18, 2013
    Hi, I'm new. I just got chicks a couple weeks ago (they are 3 weeks and growing like weeds). I'm in an HOA in east Mesa (near University and Signal Butte). I have great neighbors. But I'm afraid to tell them because our next door neighbor was the president of the HOA (and said he's going to return to the board next year), the neighbor a door down are also our friends, but the wife is on the board. And our neighbors on our other side are very quiet (but friendly when we see them) and mainly keep to themselves.

    I had originally planned a "covert coop". We are on a corner lot and where I put the coop, it's in a back corner of the house between the back of the garage and the house. On that side of the yard, there is a wash in between us and the neighbors. So no one can see the coop there from their home (you'd literally have to peek over our 6 ft block walls to see it. I thought this was a pretty stellar plan.

    I know our HOA specifically prohibits chickens. But I only have two and I'm trying to do it on the down low. I don't know what to do though because I just watched some videos on youtube and the chickens were a lot noisier than what I was expecting! SO I'M TOTALLY FREAKING OUT! I'm already attached to Rosco and Boss Hogg (hopefully and presumably both female Red Comets).

    Have those of you who are in HOA's had issues? How have you handled them? Have you had any problems with the HOA or management company? I doubt my neighbors would be against two chickens, and we're on good terms. And I'd love to share my excitement and future eggs with them. But I'm scared that if I tell them, they'll notify the rest of the HOA and/or the management company. Eeeek! Then again, I've also thought about petitioning to have our CC&R's revised, but who knows how that might turn out, and then you've announced to the world that you have chickens, so if you get denied, you're done.

    I just don't know what to do, and I'm worried that once my chicks become hens, that I won't be able to keep them a secret.

    ETA: I looked up the exact text of our CC&R's. And actually, I guess it doesn't specifically prohibit chickens. It just says they have to be pets and not kept for commercial purposes. And that you can't be able to see their dwelling. Hmmm... maybe that makes a conversation with the neighbors a bit easier. Here's the text:

    No animal, horse, bird, poultry or livestock, other than a reasonable number of generally recognized house or yard pets, shall be maintained on any Lot and no animal of any sort shall be kept on a Lot before a certificate of occupancy is issued by the City of Mesa for the Dwelling Unit. This prohibition includes, without limitation, guard dogs or any other animal maintained, kept or housed on a Lot for security or to prevent theft during the course of construction. An animal is permissible only if they are kept or raised thereon solely as domestic pets and not for commercial purposes. No animal, bird, poultry or livestock shall be allowed to make an unreasonable amount of noise or to become a nuisance. No structure for the care, housing or confinement of any animal, bird, poultry or livestock shall be maintained so as to be Visible FromNeighboring Property. Upon the written request of any Member or Resident, the Board shall conclusively determine, in its sole and absolute discretion, whether, for the purposes of this paragraph, a particular animal, bird, poultry or livestock is a generally recognized house or yard pet, whether such a pet is a nuisance, or whether the number of animals or birds on any such property is reasonable. Any decision rendered by the Board shall be enforceable in the same manner as other restrictions contained herein.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2013
  2. ChicksOfHazzard

    ChicksOfHazzard Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay, so I know no one has chimed in yet. BUT! I had "the talk" with the first set of neighbors (the ones two doors down). The wife in on the board of the HOA and they were totally cool with the chickens. She even said, "heck, our dogs are probably noisier than they'll ever be". Not only that, they totally got into the planning of the coop and run. They were like, "You should do it there because it'd be cooler in the summer and they'd have more room and you can get patio heaters for in the winter that will go on and off based on the temperature." And I asked them if they wanted to see the chicks and they brought their youngest son over to take a look at them.

    So I'm relieved so far to have such a positive response. Especially from a board member. YAY! I'm going over in an hour to talk with my next door neighbors (who would probably be most affected by any noise). The husband used to be the president of the HOA and plans to return to the board next year. So hopefully they are as positive as the other neighbors. I at least know they are dog lovers and are generally pretty laid back.

    Lastly, we'll have the neighbors on the other side of the wash, who are probably minimally affected. But we don't know them as well, they keep to themselves a lot. But I suspect they just won't care. You never know though.

    So far so good, fingers crossed!!
     
  3. ChicksOfHazzard

    ChicksOfHazzard Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay, update on next door neighbors. I went over tonight to talk to them. I didn't beat around the bush, I just told them about the chicks. And I apologized for not including them in the discussion beforehand. I told them my plans and they were really supportive. I had the husband read the HOA provision about animals, and he agreed that they seemed to be allowed in small numbers if they were pets. They are supporters of the local food movement though and have other friends outside the neighborhood that have chickens they get eggs from. So I think they'll be really happy to get our extra eggs.

    They also clarified the clause about the enclosure not being visible from a neighboring property. He said that doesn't mean that they can't see it from their second floor, it just means that the total height of the structure has to be equal to or less than the block walls (so that a neighbor can't see it from their yard). So now we can actually put the run in a better location than we had planned that will be better for the chickens.

    Their main concern was only that the chickens not make noise at night. And that we didn't have roosters. And I said we wouldn't, and they don't. I explained they make noise during the day, not a lot, but that they would announce when they lay eggs.

    Also, funny, but one of my main selling points with the chickens (here in Arizona) is I tell people they eat scorpions. To which everyone replies, "REALLY?!" People love the idea that they can help keep scorpions down.

    So I'm really relieved, again, that this second talk has gone so well. And not only that, that my neighbors have been so helpful and supportive in terms of giving *me* more information that makes our situation even better. I'm glad I've spoken with them. I feel like I could have saved myself a lot of grief by going about it this way from the very beginning. But I didn't know better. And honestly, when I got the chicks, my main concern was just trying to get my husband behind the idea. I didn't even consider my neighbors, and I should have, obviously. But it's a learning process. And I'm grateful there's been so much on these forums in the way of advising people to talk to their neighbors. It's honestly turned out so much better than I could have hoped for and my chicks are no longer covert. They are out in the open and members of the family now, here for the long haul. Now I can focus my excitement on the chickens. AND! Now I know if anyone does complain, that I have the support of my neighbors who also happen to be current and former/future board members. And the language of the bylaw states it is ultimately up to the HOA to decide whether or not we can have them.

    Also, when I left, they handed me an empty egg carton for my future eggs. It's great to have great neighbors.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2013
  4. mamalita3

    mamalita3 New Egg

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    I'm so excited to see your post. I live in the same area! might be in the same division. [​IMG] one of my girls started laying and is so loud some times before and after she lays..I find myself staying out there to keep her quiet. My fear is my neighbors being upset. We live close to houses with horses and peacocks that are very loud .So my husband states I'm making a bigger deal of it then what her noise is. I'm just happy to see that your fears where mine too. That I'm not alone!
     
  5. ChicksOfHazzard

    ChicksOfHazzard Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 18, 2013
    Hi mamalita!

    We are in Salerno Ranch. Where are you?

    Yeah, I had no idea when I got the idea to get chickens that they could potentially be noisy. I saw some videos on Youtube and I completely panicked, I realized there'd be almost no way to keep them a secret. I've just noticed this weekend ours are finally starting to make chicken noises instead of just cheeping (you know, the ba-gock!). But they are still a ways away from laying yet.

    I've finally spoken with our last neighbor on the other side of us. We hadn't spoken in a long time, they really are very quiet and keep to themselves. The guy couldn't have cared less, he just said, "I doubt we'll hear them at all with our houses being so far apart". Literally, he didn't ask any questions, just said he didn't mind and probably wouldn't hear them. I said anyway that if he did ever have an issue come up with anything related to them, just to let me know so I could work it out.

    So we've been pretty lucky with our neighbors. If you think your neighbors are able to hear them (and hopefully you're already on decent terms with them) I'd go talk to them, as hard as it is. I had such anxiety before talking to mine, I felt like I was announcing that I was a criminal or something.

    But I also think the good news is (for you too) that our neighborhood is very bird noisy anyway. Yes, not chicken noises per se, but between the quail running around on the walls, all the singing birds and stuff, the chickens are probably less noticeable than they could be. I think it's mainly just the egg laying that's the issue. So maybe explain to your neighbors (who hopefully aren't around during the day anyway) that once a day they'll lay an egg and be a little noisy. My neighbors actually thought it was cute when I explained to them that they are proud of the egg they've just laid and want everyone to know.

    How many chickens do you have by the way?
     
  6. mamalita3

    mamalita3 New Egg

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    Hi Chicks Of Hazzard! We live in Sagewood. Off of 102pl and University.. I have 6 hens. I have 2 BR, 2 Easter Eggers, 1 RIR and 1 Black Australorp.
    This morning was pretty rough. My girl Sweet Pea is SO LOUD with before I lay an egg song and her after song. I tried everything to keep her a little quiet. Nothing worked.
    I can't imagine all 6 doing this every morning. [​IMG]

    I really don't know any of our neighbors. We all just hello and that is about it. Just really nervous about upsetting anyone.
    I'll keep you posted on how the next few days go!
     
  7. ChicksOfHazzard

    ChicksOfHazzard Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, I'm assuming you have an HOA then. So on second thought, dig out your CC&R's first and see what it says about poultry. If you're not allowed, that makes things difficult because if you tell your neighbors and they are unfriendly, they can make an issue and complain to the HOA. But on the other hand, if you don't tell them, you gamble that they might just go straight to the HOA instead of complaining to you when issues arise. But with 6 chickies (they sound awesome, by the way) I feel pretty sure that they are going to know it's you. The only hope would be if you are backed right up onto one of those horse properties, in which case maybe they'll think it's them and there's nothing they can do about a horse property, the City of Mesa allows chickens. It's just some HOA's that prohibit them. But check your CC&R's. If you are allowed, I would approach your neighbors and be very deferential and explain that they are allowed but that if they ever have any issue to let you know and you'll work with them. Plus give them eggs!! [​IMG] for you!!
     
  8. mcbmaz

    mcbmaz Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 21, 2015
    Hi, just joined and came across this thread.

    Mamalita3, have you had any issues with your HOA since your last posts?
     
  9. mcbmaz

    mcbmaz Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 21, 2015
    Reason I ask is I live very close to you on 103rd and University in Superstition View Estates.
     
  10. mcbmaz

    mcbmaz Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 21, 2015
    Well I finally got a copy of my cc&r and is exactly like 10 others on this forum so I think we all have the same management company. S. I dont think I will have a problem.
     

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